The best place to stay in Kyoto for tourists is Downtown Kawaramachi. Other recommended areas include Gion, Kyoto Station, and Central Kyoto.
Downtown Kawaramachi offers a wide range of shops and restaurants and is within walking distance of the historical Gion district, making it the ideal location for your stay in Kyoto. When visiting Kyoto, it is recommended to stay overnight in order to fully explore the city and its attractions.
With at least two full days, you can experience the rich history and culture that Kyoto has to offer. Additionally, staying in Kyoto allows for convenient day trips to nearby cities like Osaka. If you have the time, it is suggested to spend at least four days in Kyoto to fully immerse yourself in the city’s wonders. For accommodation options, there are various hotels in Kyoto that cater to different budgets. Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Momiji (Nagi Kyoto Arashiyama), The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo, and Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto are some popular choices you can consider for your stay in Kyoto.
Downtown Kawaramachi: The Heart Of Kyoto
Best Place to Stay in Kyoto
Explore the vibrant downtown area of Kawaramachi
Downtown Kawaramachi is the beating heart of Kyoto, a vibrant and lively area that should be at the top of every traveler’s list. From modern shopping malls to traditional Japanese stores, there’s something here for everyone. Explore the narrow streets filled with boutiques, cafés, and local shops, and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of Kyoto.
Find a wide variety of shops and restaurants
Kawaramachi is a shopper’s paradise, with a wide variety of shops catering to all tastes and budgets. From high-end fashion boutiques to traditional Japanese crafts, you can find it all here. The area is also known for its diverse dining scene, offering everything from local street food to international cuisine. Whether you’re looking to indulge in traditional Japanese delicacies or try something new, you’ll find plenty of options in Kawaramachi.
Experience the bustling nightlife
Kawaramachi comes alive after dark, with a bustling nightlife scene that attracts locals and tourists alike. From cozy bars to trendy clubs, there’s something for everyone here. Experience the excitement of the city at night as you explore the vibrant streets, hop from one bar to another, and discover the hidden gems of Kyoto’s nightlife. Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing evening or a night of dancing, Kawaramachi has it all.
Enjoy the convenience of being close to historical Gion
One of the major advantages of staying in Downtown Kawaramachi is its close proximity to the historical district of Gion. Gion is famous for its traditional machiya houses, tea houses, and geisha culture. Take a stroll through the charming streets of Gion, visit the beautifully preserved traditional buildings, and immerse yourself in the history of Kyoto. Being just a short walk away from Gion allows you to easily explore this cultural gem at your own pace.
Gion: Where Tradition Meets Modernity
Immerse yourself in the traditional atmosphere of Gion
Gion, located in the heart of Kyoto, is a neighborhood that beautifully combines the charm of tradition with the energy of modernity. It is renowned for its historic wooden machiya houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and traditional teahouses.
When you stroll through the streets of Gion, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The traditional architecture and lantern-lit alleys create a magical atmosphere that is unique to this part of Kyoto. It’s no wonder that Gion is often referred to as the “geisha district,” as it is one of the few places where the traditional art form is still practiced.
Witness the beauty of geisha performances
One of the highlights of visiting Gion is the opportunity to witness the grace and elegance of geisha performances. Geisha, or “geiko” as they are known in Kyoto, are highly skilled entertainers who embody the ideals of traditional Japanese beauty and culture.
During the evenings, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of geisha as they make their way to teahouses or entertainment venues. These iconic figures, dressed in beautiful kimonos and adorned with elaborate hairstyles and makeup, are a true sight to behold. Watching a geisha perform traditional arts such as dancing, singing, or playing traditional instruments is a truly enchanting experience.
Explore historic temples and shrines
Gion is not only known for its geisha culture but also for its historical temples and shrines. Within the neighborhood, you will find several iconic landmarks that are worth exploring.
One such temple is the Yasaka Shrine, which is famous for its annual Gion Festival. This vibrant celebration attracts locals and tourists alike with its lively processions and traditional performances. Another must-visit destination is Kiyomizu-dera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers stunning panoramic views of Kyoto.
Discover charming traditional teahouses
Teahouses are an integral part of Gion’s cultural landscape. These establishments, known as “ochaya,” are where geisha entertain their guests. Stepping into a traditional teahouse is like entering a different world—a world of elegance, grace, and impeccable hospitality.
Many teahouses in Gion have been serving customers for centuries, and they continue to uphold the traditions of tea ceremonies and exquisite Japanese hospitality. These teahouses are not only places to enjoy a cup of tea but also venues to experience the unique art of conversation and entertainment offered by geisha.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Kyoto’s rich history, witness the beauty of geisha performances, explore historic temples and shrines, or discover the charm of traditional teahouses, Gion is the perfect place to stay. Its blend of tradition and modernity creates a captivating atmosphere that will leave you with unforgettable memories of your visit to Kyoto.
Kyoto Station: Modern Comfort In The City Center
Stay Close to Kyoto’s Main Transportation Hub
When it comes to finding the best place to stay in Kyoto, you can’t go wrong with Kyoto Station. Located in the city center, this modern transportation hub is not only convenient for travelers arriving by train but also offers easy access to other parts of the city.
Enjoy Convenient Access to Other Parts of the City
Staying near Kyoto Station means you’ll be just a stone’s throw away from various modes of transportation, including buses, taxis, and the subway. This makes it incredibly convenient to explore popular attractions in other parts of Kyoto, such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, and the famous Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama.
Shop and Dine in the Modern Kyoto Station Building
One of the major advantages of choosing to stay near Kyoto Station is the abundance of shopping and dining options available within the station itself. From luxury brand shops to local boutiques, you’ll find everything you need for a retail therapy session. Additionally, the station boasts a wide range of restaurants and food stalls where you can indulge in traditional Japanese cuisine or international dishes.
Explore Nearby Attractions such as Kyoto Tower and Higashi Honganji Temple
Besides its proximity to transportation and the convenience of shopping and dining, staying near Kyoto Station allows you to easily explore nearby attractions. Take a short walk to visit Kyoto Tower, an iconic landmark that offers stunning panoramic views of the city. Another nearby attraction is Higashi Honganji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases stunning architecture and has a rich history.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for modern comfort in the city center of Kyoto, staying near Kyoto Station is your best bet. With its convenient access to transportation, a plethora of shopping and dining options, and proximity to popular attractions, you’ll have an unforgettable stay in this vibrant city.
Central Kyoto: The Cultural Hub
Central Kyoto, known as the Cultural Hub, is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of this ancient city. With its historic landmarks, traditional streets, and mouth-watering cuisine, central Kyoto offers a truly unforgettable experience.
Experience the rich cultural heritage of central Kyoto
Central Kyoto is steeped in history and is home to numerous cultural treasures. From ancient temples and shrines to beautifully preserved traditional houses, every corner of this area tells a story of Kyoto’s past. Walking through the streets of central Kyoto is like stepping back in time, with its charming atmosphere and traditional architecture.
Visit famous landmarks like Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji Temple
Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji Temple are two must-visit landmarks in central Kyoto. Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is known for its exquisite architecture and beautiful gardens. Visitors can explore the castle’s impressive fortifications and walk along its famous “nightingale floors.” Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, is another iconic landmark in Kyoto. Its golden exterior and surrounding garden make it a picturesque spot to visit and capture stunning photos.
Explore the traditional streets of Teramachi and Shinkyogoku
The streets of Teramachi and Shinkyogoku in central Kyoto are a shopaholic’s paradise. These bustling shopping districts are lined with traditional stores, boutiques, and souvenir shops. Visitors can browse through a wide variety of products, from handmade crafts and traditional clothing to unique local snacks. Taking a leisurely stroll through these streets is a feast for the senses, with the sights, sounds, and aromas of Kyoto’s vibrant marketplace.
Savor delicious Kyoto cuisine in local restaurants
Central Kyoto is a food lover’s dream, with a wide range of local restaurants offering authentic and delicious Kyoto cuisine. From traditional kaiseki meals to mouth-watering ramen and fresh sushi, there is something to satisfy every palate. Don’t miss the opportunity to try Kyoto’s famous matcha desserts, such as matcha-flavored ice cream and wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets). Exploring the culinary delights of central Kyoto is an essential part of any visit to this cultural hub.
Off The Beaten Path: Hidden Gems In Kyoto
When it comes to finding the best place to stay in Kyoto, it’s easy to think of popular areas like Downtown Kawaramachi or Gion. While these areas certainly have their charm, there are also hidden gems in Kyoto that offer a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience. If you’re looking to discover lesser-known neighborhoods and accommodations, experience the charm of the Higashiyama Ward, visit the serene Arashiyama area, and explore the lively Nishiki Market for local food and souvenirs.
Discover lesser-known neighborhoods and accommodations
When planning your stay in Kyoto, it’s worth considering lesser-known neighborhoods that offer a more local and authentic experience. One such neighborhood is Higashiyama Ward. Located in the eastern part of Kyoto, Higashiyama is known for its historic streets, traditional wooden buildings, and stunning temples. Staying in this neighborhood gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage.
Experience the charm of the Higashiyama Ward
In the Higashiyama Ward, you’ll find iconic attractions like the Kiyomizudera Temple and the Yasaka Pagoda. These landmarks offer breathtaking views of the city and are a testament to Kyoto’s architectural beauty. Strolling through the narrow streets of Higashiyama, you’ll discover hidden gardens, quaint teahouses, and traditional shops selling local crafts. It’s a neighborhood that captures the essence of old Kyoto.
Visit the serene Arashiyama area
If you’re seeking tranquility and natural beauty, head to the Arashiyama area. This picturesque district is famous for its bamboo grove, where towering green stalks create a serene and otherworldly atmosphere. Take a leisurely walk along the bamboo forest and explore the nearby temples, such as the famous Tenryuji Temple. Don’t miss the chance to visit the scenic Togetsukyo Bridge and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Hozu River.
Explore the lively Nishiki Market for local food and souvenirs
No visit to Kyoto is complete without a trip to Nishiki Market. Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” this bustling market is a food lover’s paradise. Wander through the narrow streets lined with stalls selling fresh seafood, traditional snacks, and local specialties. Indulge in street food like takoyaki (octopus balls) and yuba (tofu skin). Don’t forget to pick up souvenirs like Kyoto ceramics and matcha tea to bring a taste of Kyoto back home.
In conclusion, while the popular areas of Kyoto have their appeal, venturing off the beaten path to discover hidden gems can truly enhance your stay in this ancient city. Whether you choose to explore the historic Higashiyama Ward, experience the tranquility of Arashiyama, or indulge in local delicacies at Nishiki Market, these lesser-known areas offer a unique and unforgettable Kyoto experience.
Frequently Asked Questions Of Best Place To Stay In Kyoto
What Part Of Kyoto Is Best To Stay?
The best area to stay in Kyoto for tourists is Downtown Kawaramachi. Other recommended best places to stay in Kyoto are Gion, Kyoto Station, and Central Kyoto. Downtown Kawaramachi offers plenty of shops and restaurants, and is in walking distance of historical Gion, making it the best place to stay in Kyoto.
Should You Stay Overnight In Kyoto?
Yes, staying overnight in Kyoto is highly recommended. It makes it easier to explore the city and take day trips to nearby areas like Osaka. Kyoto is also a great place to experience staying in a traditional ryokan.
How Many Days are Recommended For Kyoto?
At least two full days are recommended to explore Kyoto and experience its rich history and culture.
Do You Need 2 Days In Kyoto?
Two days in Kyoto is recommended to get a taste of the city’s highlights.
When it comes to finding the best place to stay in Kyoto, Downtown Kawaramachi emerges as the top recommendation for tourists. This vibrant area offers a plethora of shops and restaurants, making it a convenient and lively base for exploring the city.
Its proximity to the historical Gion district adds to its allure. Staying in Kyoto allows for easy access to the city’s attractions and affords you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and history. Additionally, Kyoto is renowned for its traditional ryokans, which provide a unique and authentic accommodation experience.
With at least two full days recommended to explore Kyoto’s many highlights, having a comfortable and centrally located base like Downtown Kawaramachi ensures a seamless and enjoyable stay. So, when planning your trip to Kyoto, consider staying in Downtown Kawaramachi to make the most of your time in this captivating city.